Friday, November 18, 2011

The First Lady

One of our favorite book blogs, Shelf Awareness recently featured books about the country’s First Ladies. However, they missed a must read! MaryAnne Borrelli’s The Politics of the President's Wife (TAMU 2011) gives both theoretical and substantive insight into behind-the-scenes developments from the time of Lou Henry Hoover to the unfolding tenure of Michelle Robinson Obama.

Borrelli offers compelling counter-perspective: that the president’s wife exercises power intrinsic to her role within the administration. Like others within the presidency, she has sometimes presented the president’s views to constituentsand sometimes presented constituents’ views to the president, thus taking on a representative function within the system. In mediating president-constituent relationships, she has given a historical and social frame to the presidency that has enhanced its symbolic representation; she has served as a gender role model, enriching descriptive representation in the executive branch; and she has participated in policy initiatives to strengthen an administration’s substantive representation.

Read more about The Politics of the President's Wife (TAMU 2011) and order your own copy, now available in cloth, paper and electronic versions, here.